I’m still on a high from yesterday’s news from Iowa, but today’s news is quite sobering. Something else happened yesterday that certainly caught my attention, but I wanted more details before posting anything about it. Then, this morning, a friend in Philadelphia sent me a text message that something huge was going down in Pittsburgh (where his family lives)–I’ve been monitoring the news all day. More facts have come out about both incidents, and they are more than just a little disheartening.
Yesterday, a Vietnamese immigrant named Jiverly Wong–whether he’d been naturalized as a U.S. citizen is unclear to me so far–walked into an immigration help center he’d been taking classes at and opened fire. He was wearing body armor when he committed the crime (another detail I’ve not yet found is whether the body armor was an updated version or if it was crudely homemade), but before police could stop him, he committed suicide. He managed to take the lives of 13 innocent souls. Friends and coworkers have said that Wong hated America and even dreamed aloud of assassinating the President. Shirley DeLucia, a receptionist at the center, heroically stayed on the phone with dispatchers for nearly 40 minutes, constantly feeding them information despite being gravely wounded herself. The first reports were that the shooter had taken hostages. It is actually believed there were no hostages; the initial report was put out because there had been no contact with Wong.
Then, this morning, 23-year-old Richard Poplawski (also wearing body armor) opened fire on police officers responding to a complaint of a domestic disturbance at his home. Paul Sciullo III and Stephen Mayhle responded to a 911 call from Poplawski’s mother and were both cut down by the first shots; Eric Kelly was on his way home from his overnight shift when the call for help came over the radio and tried to help his fallen brothers when he, too, was cut down by Poplawski. At some point, the shooter called his best friend to say he was going to die–then continued to exchange fire with SWAT officers. A fourth unnamed officer was shot in the hand and a fifth broke his leg during the standoff, but Poplawski was taken into custody when all was said and done. It has been widely reported that Poplawski had lost his job recently and was a gun enthusiast who was openly afraid that Obama would ban civilian ownership of firearms. He used an AK-47 and a .357 magnum in the shootout.
Naturally, in the wake of these two back-to-back incidents, gun control advocates are speaking out. The whole thing is compounded by the fears of Richard Poplawski (at least as related by friends). Forgive my sarcasm, but it’s already all our fault.
We’re conservative, we believe in the Second Amendment, and many of us own guns, so it’s our fault. If guns weren’t so readily available, it wouldn’t be so easy for these people to kill, right? The comments on the board at HuffPo are outrageous not only in their brazenness but also in their stupidity. Several outright blame the NRA, with one saying, “your Second Amendment rights at work!” One girl from Australia has the audacity to say, “there are more guns circulating the US than there are people” before insulting every single one of us by saying, “US may not have best education system or healthcare, but they are on top for gun ownership and shooting related crimes.”
I’m sorry…but isn’t it the US that everyone flocks to when they get really sick because their government’s socialized healthcare system won’t foot the bill to take care of them? And has the US not put some of the greatest minds on the planet out there to better the world? Shooting-related crimes are NOTHING compared to crimes committed with other weapons, such as knives, clubs, chains and cars (yes, CARS), honey. The vast majority of guns on the streets are illegally obtained, having gone through thefts and illegal sales before being seized after an assault or murder. The bad guys have guns BECAUSE THEY DON’T OBEY THE LAW. They’re not supposed to have them, but just like the drugs they’re not supposed to have, they still find a way. I once saw a homemade gun in a prison made out of an old metal band-aid box, a bar of soap, a rubber band and a paper clip. Someone managed to smuggle a live handgun round in and the guy who had it was ready to commit murder. What the hell makes anybody think that banning them is going to make these crimes stop?
Guns are illegal in Europe, yet last month 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer donned combat gear and stormed his former school near Stuttgart, Germany. The Netherlands, Sweden, Argentina, Canada, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Finland have all experienced mass shootings in the past decade, all of which have stringent gun laws in place. Yet somehow, angry kids and adults still manage to get their hands on the guns they’re not supposed to have and carry out these deeds. In 2002, Germany experienced TWO mass shootings within a period of two months. Still think making them illegal is gonna solve the problem?
Here’s something else to think about. Your chances of being killed in a plane crash are greater than your chances of being killed by gunfire. Roughly 1 in 5100 people die every year in the US because of guns. But 1 in 84 die in motor vehicle accidents. ONE IN EVERY EIGHTY-FOUR. Of all the accidental (non-natural) deaths in the United States, MVA’s account for 41%, Poisoning for 16%, and falls 15%. Drowning comes in behind that. Firearms are nearly dead last on the list (no pun intended). So why does everyone call for the banning of guns when someone is shot? Everything we use is going to kill someone. Cars, however, are the most dangerous weapon we own, and not one person is out there stumping for greater control of the vehicles that kill 1 in every 84 people.
And the big question: what do you need a gun for? Lemme tell you folks somethin’…if any person has the nerve to threaten you or your loved ones, it should infuriate you. Nobody has the right to threaten you, and you should want to stop them. If they have a knife or a bat, it is not in any way unfair to level a gun at them and give them one opportunity to leave you alone. Having more power than the bad guy is likely the only justice in this world, because our legal system certainly isn’t just. If just one of the innocent students at Virginia Tech had been allowed to carry on campus that day, the worthless flab of human debris who killed 32 people could have been stopped long before it became the worst school shooting in US history.
I’ve got a sign for all you folks out there who are dead-set against our Second Amendment rights: